2015 A Year in Review

Yes, I realize it is almost the end of January.  But if your December was anything like most people’s (at least in the Western world), it was likely crazy full, extremely busy, with not a lot of time for things like looking at photographs!  So here we are in the depths of winter, holed up in our (hopefully) warm and cozy houses, maybe with a case of the winter blues.  So what better time to do a review of the last year, and choose some favourite photos from the year!

Last year was a great year.  We got to go home to Canada in the summer, and had a wonderful time visiting friends and family and doing lots of fun things (our kids especially)…wakeboarding, camp, a wedding, a funeral (not so fun, but we did get to see lots of family that we wouldn’t have gotten to see otherwise, so a bit of a silver lining on a sad event), paintballing, swimming, time at a cottage on the lake, lots of good food, and tons of fun times with grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends!  It was a real highlight of our year.

On our way home to Canada, we got to stop over in England for close to a week and had a wonderful time there, staying with some friends, meeting up with other friends we hadn’t seen in about 20 years(!) and doing some sightseeing around the English seaside.  It was a lovely little segway into our Canada time.

Then on the way home after our time in Canada, we had a bit of an adventure in Turkey!  When my husband booked our tickets, he accidentally put the wrong date on the last leg of flights, which meant we had a 28 hour layover in the Istanbul airport instead of only 5 hours!!  Not so nice!  But what’s the problem, you say?  Why not just go stay in a hotel for the night?  Great idea, but unfortunately the cost for a visa for a Canadian is about $60 US.  Considering our family consists of 6 people, this was a steep charge just to leave the airport!  Long story short, just before we left Canada to return home to Central Asia, we unexpectedly received a large sum of money, and so we were able to use this money to pay for the visas and a hotel room for the night!  Yay!  No sleeping (or not!) on airport benches!!

So we had a lovely time in Istanbul that day…visiting the seaside, walking around, just enjoying ourselves, and then that night we returned to the airport for our flight onwards.  We got there on time, and stood in line to check in.  When we finally got to the counter, the check in attendant looked at our flight and said she was very sorry but all the seats were already taken and we would not be able to get on the flight!  What?!  We had had these tickets booked for months!  How could this be??  She took us to the booking office for the airline where they explained, that yes, the flight was overbooked, and all the seats had already been alotted, and there was no way we, as a family of six, would be getting on.  We were a little shocked, and not too terribly happy, as we knew the flight we were getting on only ran two or three times per week, so what were we going to do?  He then explained that, as this was the airline’s fault, they would put us up in a hotel for the next three nights until the next flight, along with a shuttle to and from the hotel, all of our meals paid for and extra compensation for our trouble.  Would that be satisfactory?  We were amazed!  We gladly accepted and proceeded to a beautiful hotel where we got to have an extra 3 days holiday!  What an unexpected gift!

So our trip home extended a little longer than expected, but we were not complaining!  It was an adventure, that’s for sure, but we were so blessed.

We finally made it home, after a bit more of an adventure after our last flight and another two days stopover in a last location before we were finally able to make it home.  Life is never dull!! 🙂

So, on to the photos!  We’ve got a good variety this year, with all those travels! 🙂  And there will be more stories to go along with the photos.  So keep reading…

03 05 2015 Lantern Festival-44-2I love this photo.  I love the black background and the beautiful light coming from the lantern, and of course the expressions of joy on the father and daughter’s faces.

06 07 2015 Southbourne-24This is part of a series of 3 images (see below for the others) of a boat I found on the seaside in England, on a walk I took.  I love the colours and texture and the abstract quality of the photos that makes you wonder what exactly you are looking at.  I think they are my favourite pictures from our England time.

06 07 2015 Southbourne-27

 

06 07 2015 Southbourne-30

 

06 08 2015 PortchesterCastle-127Another photo from our time in England.  I think one of the things that struck me while we were there was how intensely green everything was.  Just this gorgeous, rich, lush green.  This photo encapsulates that for me.

06 09 2015 Chichester-33Candles in a cathedral.  A contemplative photograph.

 

06 29 2015 Prairies-28The view from a house we stayed in during our time home in Canada.  This particular late afternoon, I had gone down to the river, and the light was just incredible, hitting and reflecting golden off the river.  I ran back to get my camera ’cause it was just too good to not photograph!

07 23 2015 Kenoracabin-30-2My son on one of the fun adventures he got to have in Canada.  We were staying at my brother and sister in law’s cottage for a few days, and they had a kayak, so my son wanted to give it a try, having never done it before.  It was early morning, the light was beautiful, and so I leaned over off the dock, with my camera almost in the water, and got this shot.  It now hangs on the wall in my boys’ bedroom!

07 23 2015 Kenoracabin-74On the dock, late at night.  It was about 11:00, but in Canada in the summer, the sun doesn’t set until after 10, so the sun’s glow was still visible in the sky.  My son stands on the dock, enjoying the moment.

07 23 2015 Kenoracabin-116Boats, docks, trees and their reflections.

 

07 23 2015 Kenoracabin-182My other son, fishing.  I LOVE the light and shadow in this shot, and how my son just happened to be standing in a pool of light.  Lovely!  Another one that now hangs in my sons’ bedroom. 🙂

07 30 2015 Istanbul-10More boats.  This time in Turkey.

09 05 2015 chaiflowers-17Back in Central Asia.  A girl picks flowers that will later be dried and used for tea.  The light was golden, and she was so lovely, surrounded by flowers and framed with their large umbrella, that provided some shelter and shade from the intense late summer sun.

09 12 2015 HikingAtux-44-EditThis to me is a perfect picture of the mountains of Central Asia.  They ARE very diverse, so maybe that’s not true, but often the landscape is moon-like…like from a different world.  I love the undulations of the earth in this picture…how the land ripples and swirls…with the large rock in the foreground giving perspective, and the 3 small rocks that look like they are moving across the surface of the land adding a bit of whimsy!

09 24 2015 Korban-106

I saw this little boy at a major festival.  He was all dressed up for the special occasion, but it was his eyes that captivated me…

10 07 2015 TVShow-166

Bright and bold colours.

10 16 2015 Shutterspeed-23

This woman giggled like crazy as I took her picture.  She was so cute! 🙂

10 16 2015 Shutterspeed-60

There is something about this photograph that reminds me of a painting.  Maybe it’s the softness to it, the gently out of focus background, the expression on her face…I’m not sure, but whatever it is, I like it!

10 16 2015 Shutterspeed-145

My son is learning photography this year, and when he was learning about shutter speed we went out one night on a field trip.  We had so much fun experimenting with our shutterspeeds, and the city lights.  We came up with some pretty abstract, fun results!

10 16 2015 Shutterspeed-162

 

10 20 2015 Sunset Drive-7

My daughter and I visited this woman in her home, and I asked if I could photograph her.  The light was soft and beautiful, and she was lovely.  She agreed, and this is the result.

10 20 2015 Sunset Drive-46

If I had to name a theme for me this past year, photographically, it would be light.  Finding dramatic and beautiful light.  And in this photograph, I found it.  This woman came around the corner with her sheep just as I saw this shaft of light shining just where she was going to be walking.  I waited, and as she passed through it, I pressed the shutter.  The light was golden, as it was early fall, and it was the perfect time of day (late afternoon).  It all came together for a beautiful photograph.

10 20 2015 Sunset Drive-48

The same shepherdess, just a little further up the road.  This time the light created an amazing pattern of light and shadow on the tree lined road.  I love both of these photos!

10 20 2015 Sunset Drive-121-2

A golden sunset casts shafts of light through the trees.  Magical!

10 28 2015 EasterIslandKaren-75

This little girl had attitude to spare!  Her pose says it all!

11 20 2015 OldCityJoy-79

My beautiful friend, who is a very talented artist.  She was visiting for the weekend, so we went out to take photographs together.  I got to take a few photographs of her, and this was my favourite.  It perfectly captures who she is…her beautiful, gentle, sweet self.

11 22 2015 VIllageJoy-16

This woman was out raking leaves outside of her home, and the light falling on her, half hiding her was perfect.  I love the fact that she is part in light, part in shadow, and the lights dancing on the wall behind her.

2016-01-24_0024I love it when I come across a humourous situation and can photograph it.  I love how this guy’s head is as white as white can be, while the rest of his body is tanned dark brown.  Men rarely take their “dopa”‘s off, so their heads rarely see the light of day!

2016-01-24_0023I love the swirl and dance of the clouds in this photo.  It’s just magical and whimsical.

 

2016-01-24_0021Another funny moment.  I just love the look on this little guy’s face.  I’m not sure if he had dropped something, or what exactly had happened, but the look on his face is priceless.  And the look on the other guy’s face is almost as good.  He seems to be enjoying his friend (or brother?)’s misfortune.  Too cute!

2016-01-24_0018This one is kind of simple, but it’s the way it makes me feel that I love.  It speaks of freedom, abandon, joy, and trust.  At least to me. 🙂

2016-01-24_0011On the way home from a trip up to the mountains we came upon this scene…camels, towering mountains shrouded in mist…perfect!

2016-01-24_0010On the same trip.  On our way down the mountains we got caught in the end of a freak spring snowstorm.  It was probably one of the scariest moments of the year…there were moments I wasn’t sure we’d make it home alive, the roads were so bad.  But as we made our way down the mountain, the snow stopped, and the clouds gradually began to lift, leaving just the outlines of the mountains hidden behind them.  It was magical.  They were like pencil drawings drawn in the sky…

2016-01-24_0009

 

2016-01-24_0008Pure simplicity.  Minimalism and purity.

 

2016-01-24_0007What a face!

 

2016-01-24_0006This guy had the most beautiful smile.  So friendly and warm.  He was participating in a Central Asian game played on horseback.  A sheep hide is carried by the players down the field, while they are on horseback, while the other team is trying to steal it out of their hands so they can take the hide to their goal.  It is fast and dangerous, but so fun!!

2016-01-24_0005This guy was full of mischief!  He had this crazy hat on his head, a piece of styrofoam around his neck, and what a look in his eyes!!

2016-01-24_0001This photo is just so funny.  An outdoor barber who looks bored to tears, the next customer waiting, and a donkey in the background!  A donkey??  Hmmmm…

2016-01-24_0002A slice of life in Central Asia.  So much to see in this photo.  It’s a feast for the eyes, just seeing all that is going on.  And the colour palette is lovely too.

2016-01-24_0003A Central Asian bazaar’s parking lot.  Scooters, 3 wheeled carts and donkey carts!  And donkeys of course!

2016-01-24_0004This guy was too cool, sitting at the bazaar, selling his goods.  I love how it all surrounds him, and just frames him perfectly.

I hope you enjoyed this trip through my year, and my photographs.  It was fun going through them all and telling the stories that go along with so many of them!

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